As part of the transition to a plant-based diet, and to satisfy occasional cravings or participate in social events, many choose to buy and consume mock (or “fake”) meat products.
Before reading further, please be aware we are specifically discussing products that intentionally try to mimic meat. This does not include foods such as: vegetable burgers and sausage, portobello mushroom burgers etc.
Mock meats are generally based on tofu, tempeh, seitan, jackfruit, mushrooms, legumes, and/or texturized vegetable protein, which are then mixed and processed with secondary ingredients to form the final product.
While these may provide some of the flavor and textures you’re looking for, many mock meat products are unfortunately heavily processed and adulterated and aren’t to be considered healthy in any way.
Having said this, as always, check the ingredients. Remember, tofu has been a staple in China for decades and in itself, is not trying to replicate any other food.
The popular plant-based Impossible Burger has been found to contain significant levels of glyphosate herbicide residues—in fact up to 11 times higher when compared against the Beyond Meat Burger.
Popular Mock Meat Products
Here are some popular options and their ingredients at the time of writing (July 3rd, 2020):
Beyond Meat Burger:
Tofurky Slow Roasted Chick’n:
Lightlife Smart Ground Original:
Yves The Good Veggie Burger:
Quorn Vegan Fishless Sticks:
Certainly we think you’ll agree that some of these overly processed foods are not ideally included in any long-term diet.
We recommend keeping them to a minimum and if you’re serious about your health, avoiding them altogether.
Having said this, if you really want to include them in your lifestyle because you’re not in it for your health right now, shop around and always check the ingredients, not all mock meats are equal.
Some people may suggest meat is healthier than mock meats. But in doing so, they ignore some factors:
- livestock meat usually contains high levels of antibiotics that adversely affect our health, especially long-term
- kosher and halal slaughter methods are extremely controversial, even to meat eaters, regardless of how the animal was raised
A better alternative to the store-bought options, is finding healthier vegan-friendly substitute recipes which you can easily prepare yourself.